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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Infants

When I had Britt we had some issues with nursing. She took a long time to nurse and I struggled with figuring out why. I remember then having some friends recommend taking her to a chiropractor. Um. What?!?! It was a strange suggestion for me to hear! I did call our local chiropractor on the phone and talked to him a long time about the benefits of bringing her in, but I never ended up taking her.

After having Britt in 2011 I've since heard more and more about the benefits of chiropractics in children. The main person who has influenced me about this has been Robyn. Her son, Cooper, has been going to the chiropractor and is now completely off of his reflux medicine! That's HUGE! I trust my friends and when they have great results from something...why wouldn't I give it a try?!?!

When Tess was two weeks old I noticed that she was just really, really gassy. She wasn't sleeping solid at nights or nap due to gas issues. You can tell a baby is crying due to gas if they hold their legs up when they are crying (an arched back when crying is a sign of reflux rather than gas). She burped well but it just wasn't enough. Britt was also super gassy and it was a tough phase for us with her sleep. I tried a ton of different things to help Tess (more on that in her Week Three Summary post to come) but was frustrated that nothing seemed to truly fix the gas issue. I mentioned my struggles to Robyn and she suggested giving the chiropractor a try.

This time around? I made an appointment! I vividly remember how long Britt's nap issues lasted and was willing to try something new in hopes of a better outcome for Tess. I made an appointment with the same chiropractor that I had talked to about Britt. It's also the same one Robyn uses (if you're local give Dr. Register a call at Mink!). We know Dr Register and his family and I felt very comfortable meeting with him (his daughter was in Kye's class a couple years ago). 



I took Tess for her first adjustment at two weeks old (during her third week of life). He showed me how the vertebra affects the gastric tract and the stomach. (The technical terminology for her physical findings were: "Taut and tender muscle fibers were found in the supper back with subluxactions"). It was a super short visit. He held her in his hands and said he can usually adjust small babies with just his fingers. She was so tight that he couldn't do it that way so I held her against me and he used a little tool to apply pressure (he did it on me first and it didn't hurt a bit!). She didn't mind AT ALL and was totally relaxed the entire visit. Every time we went there after she was always relaxed and never seemed in any pain or discomfort during the adjustment! Super easy! 

He said that when babies are first born he likes to see them 1-2 times a week for 4 weeks. He said I should be able to tell pretty quick results from her adjustment and that once I could tell she needed another one to just call and come in.

I could tell THAT DAY that she was less gassy! Her naps went much more smoothly for the next couple of days. Once I could tell she was getting gassy again, I called and took her in for another adjustment. It really worked amazingly for her. Every time she got adjusted I could tell an instant change in her. She was more comfortable, less gassy, and slept SO MUCH better. Even Zach became a believer!!! 

In the weeks following her first visit we took her in about 4 more times. I think we had a total of 5 adjustments for her in the 4 week time span that he recommended. By the last visit it was obvious that she didn't need much adjusting and after completing all the adjustments she no longer had ANY gas issues while sleeping! 

They recommend a wellness plan to visit once a month to keep everything going smoothly for her but I'm not sure if we will do that or not. We will most likely go on an "as needed" basis. Since it worked SO WELL for us I know we will be going there first if/when any issues arise. Why not try to solve a problem before trying meds? God made our bodies and it would make sense that He also made them to heal themselves. I like that chiropractics is a natural way to help the body perform at it's best. It makes total sense to me to give it a try prior to trying more invasive measures (boy do I wish I'd tried it prior to letting my prior foot dr do surgery!!!). 

I am a very big "common sense" type person. If something makes sense to me, then I become pretty hardcore about it. The ideas behind chiropractic care for kids just clicked with me and made me wish I'd looked into it sooner. It makes so much sense! The babies are all cramped up in our bellies for nine months so of course when they are born their little spines need to be adjusted! 

For me, chiropractics has now become just another tool in my tool box of ways to help my babies! I wish I'd tried it with Kye and Britt as I truly believe we would have seen just as wonderful benefits as we have with Tess. A gassy baby is a baby who can't sleep and who is not happy. Now our baby isn't gassy and she sleeps WAY better and is much happier too! I'm so thankful to have found a way to get rid of that pain for her and to allow us all more rest :)

Prior to trying it for myself I would kinda do an eye roll when people would suggest it. I mean chiropractor used to sound so crunchy granola to me (which we all know is not my parenting style!). But now? I'm one of those people! I'm a member of several Facebook groups for moms and am constantly commenting on posts about babies with reflux and gas and other issues and suggesting chiropractics! Why not try it? It can't hurt to give it a try and I truly believe it will help

You've heard my personal story but I also wanted to share some information I picked up while at the chiropractor office:
  • The birthing process is one of the most traumatic events of our lives. It causes stress on a still-developing spine. The resulting irritation to the nervous system can be the cause of many new born health complaints. Colic, unexplained crying, poor appetite, breathing problems, gas, reflux and allergic reactions can be traced to the nervous system dysfunction caused by a malfunctioning spine.
  • With a healthy structural system, a child can better deal with the sore throats, ear infections, stomachaches, fevers, measles,mumps and the hundred-and-one other problems that often make up young life.
  • In many cases ear infections are observed to disappear after chiropractic care, saving children from ear-tube surgery and antibiotics.
  • This link contains more great information about chiropractic care for children!
Since I have just started to see the benefits of chiropractic care in my baby, I put it out there on my Blog Facebook Page to see what some readers have found to be beneficial about having their children adjusted:
  • Christy Taylor McMillan My 20 month old wasn't talking at all so we took her to be adjusted (we had already seen a neurologist and a speech therapist). Chiropractor found that she wasn't getting adequate blood flow to part of her brain. He adjusted her and she started making progress within a week!!! She is now 3 years old and has caught up with all of her peers! Her speech therapist was so impressed with her progress after her adjustment that she is now recommending for her speech students who are similar to my daughter to see a chiropractor!
  • Dawnee Culpepper McLendon We took KK to get adjusted when she was only weeks old. It helped her belly issues and she started sleeping through the night. I would definitely recommend it to anyone with an infant having belly or sleep issues!!
  • Chelley Northrop Nelson You know I'm a big believer in chiropractics! I just took the Bs for their monthly adjustments this morning. Interestingly, we started taking Bren but long before he turned two to help with growing pains and ear infections. He hasn't had either AT ALL since we started getting him regularly adjusted. Last night, for the first time, he woke up crying twice in the night with leg pain. I didn't initially mention this to our chiropractor today, but she immediately said, "whoa, his pelvis is really out". She fixed him all up and I'll be shocked if we have any more issues with him waking in the night with pain. 
  • Carrie Cochran Our first born had a really rocky start with his digestive system. He was a premie and it wasn't working as well as it should have been. I started taking him to the chiropractor at 2 weeks of age. After 3 weeks of adjustments he was perfect!
  • Katie Gulley Getting my baby adjusted on a regular basis helped with major latch issues and acid reflux. He is now a year old and we still have him adjusted at least once a month. Babies that are adjusted regularly are less likely to have ear infections. He hasn't had one yet, thankfully!
I am so, so glad that Robyn suggested a visit to the chiropractor for Tess! I don't think it's an option that is discussed often enough. I mean this is my third baby...I sure do wish I'd taken my other babies as I fully believe it would have helped with their gas issues and also help them to sleep better for me! Tess is my BEST napper yet!!! I'm a big chiropractic believer now!

Have you ever taken your children to a chiropractor? What benefits have you seen?

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